Judge tosses suit by suburban coach who was fired after writing sex book
BY KIM JANSSEN AND CASEY TONER Staff Reporters February 21, 2013 3:36PM
Rich Central High School girl's basketball coach Bryan Craig. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 23, 2013 6:28AM
First, high school basketball coach Bryan Craig’s lurid, self-published book of questionable sex tips cost him his job.
Now it’s got another bum review — from a federal judge, who has tossed out his $1 million lawsuit against the school administrators that fired him.
Craig hit the headlines last year after it emerged he had authored a book called “It’s Her Fault” while working as a counselor and girl’s basketball coach at south suburban Rich Central High School. The book discussed in graphic detail Craig’s opinions on vaginal differences between women of different races, encouraged men to cheat on their partners and advised that “the easiest kill for a man is through the young lady with low self-esteem.”
Fired in September by Rich Township High School District 227, he filed a federal lawsuit alleging his first amendment rights had been violated.
But in a scathing opinion issued this week, Judge Elaine Bucklo threw out the case — and took a dig at Craig’s writing style.
Though Craig styled his tome a “self-help” book, Bucklo dismissed it as “little more than a lurid account of his own sexual preferences and exploits.”
“The first two chapters at least superficially discuss the balance of power between men and women in relationships,” the judge wrote. “But by the third chapter plaintiff’s narration is focused on his own attraction to women, from ogling a “sexy young lady” at the mall to working after-hours at a strip club...”
She said Craig had failed to prove his book met the burden of being “a matter of public concern,” adding that the fact Craig self-published it, “suggests that the book, though public, may not be a matter ‘in which the public might be interested.’”
In one particularly damning section of her opinion, she even compared his lawsuit to an unsuccessful San Diego one in which a police officer sued after he was fired for selling a video of himself masturbating on eBay.
Craig “exploited his position as a high school guidance counselor and there is no question that the speech is detrimental to the mission and functions of the employer,” Bucklo wrote dismissing his lawsuit with prejudice, meaning he cannot re-file it.
Reached Thursday, Craig said he was disappointed but plans to appeal the ruling.